King Charles Has A Deeply Personal Stake In Missing Titanic Tourist Sub Rescue

In 1912, the Titanic was declared "unsinkable" by White Star Line vice-president Phillip Franklin, as reported by the BBC. Despite his proclamation, the Titanic is now one of the world's most famous shipwrecks after hitting an iceberg on April 14, 1912. Images of the wreck at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean were perhaps most famously immortalized in James Cameron's movie "Titanic," starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. And there are now 3-D reconstructions of the shipwreck site created via digital scan, allowing history experts and amateurs alike to pore over the entire site.

Getting to the Titanic site is no easy task. It went down about 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, and over two miles beneath the surface, though this hasn't stopped researchers and explorers from launching submersibles to explore the wreckage. That remote location, however, means that if anything goes wrong on an expedition to the wreckage, a rescue could be challenging. That's the situation that's unfolding now. The Titan is an OceanGate Expeditions submersible with five people in it that has lost contact with its surface expedition, the M.V. Polar Prince. 

King Charles is among many who are paying attention to the search for the missing submersible closely, which is surely magnified by his personal connection to someone on board.

King Charles knows one of the people on the missing Titanic submersible

King Charles III said that his "thoughts and prayers" are with those in the submersible that went missing on a trip down to the wreck of the Titanic, per Hello!. And it's not just a diplomatic statement, he's got a friend on board: Shahzada Dawood, a British-Pakistani businessman. Shazada's son 19-year-old son Suleman is another of the five passengers in the submersible. Shahzada's father was one of the founding patrons of Prince's Trust International, which King Charles founded, and Shazada is a member of its Global Advisory Board (via The New York Times). Shahzada is also an active supporter of the British Asian Trust, another charity the king helped start.

King Charles is joined in his thoughts and prayers by members of both of the charities "We are shocked by this awful news," said the CEO of the Prince's Trust, as reported by The New York Times. The British Asian Trust released a statement saying they were "devastated by the terrible news," according to Town & Country. Both charities noted the valued and longtime relationship they've had with the Dawood family. 

The Dawood family is one of the most prominent and prosperous families in Pakistan, and Shazada lives in England with his wife and their two kids. Their family has requested prayers for their family at this time. And The Dawood Foundation based in Pakistan tweeted about the incident asking people to avoid "speculation and theorization" over what has happened.

The tourist sub has about 96 hours of reserve oxygen

The submersible entered the water on Sunday, June 18, and in less than two hours, it lost contact with the Polar Prince. By the next day, a search and rescue mission was mobilized from the U.S. and Canada. U.S. Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick said the vessel had about 40 hours of oxygen left, as of Tuesday, June 20 (per The New York Times). That gives searchers a grim deadline to find the submersible before it runs out of oxygen. The search is currently ongoing.

Other passengers aboard the 22-foot-long vessel include the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions Stockton Rush, the billionaire British adventurer Hamish Harding, and French diver and explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet. Typically a dive to the Titanic site in the OceanGate submersible lasts a total of eight hours, and a couple of dives can happen over the course of an eight-day trip — it takes a couple of days on the ship just to get to the site. Tickets cost about $250,000. On the podcast "Unsung Science," Rush spoke about the OceanGate Expeditions Titanic trips and explained that there were "seven different ways to get the sub back up to the surface." What went wrong on this dive, we don't yet know, and King Charles is surely joined by many in his thoughts and prayers that all passengers come home safely.